Institute for Resource Management
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Utility Partnerships 4.0 - BMBF Innovationsforum Mittelstand - Digitisation - German Water Partnership - GWP - Roadmap [04.11.2019]

Innovation Forum "Utility Partnerships 4.0" - Roadmap now available

The Innovation Forum on Utility Partnerships 4.0 focused on the idea of using digital technologies to open up opportunities for German SMEs in the water sector to engage in international know-how partnerships. The following objectives were pursued: 1. the establishment of a network and 2. the development of the now published roadmap for the concretisation of necessary activities and developments.

To this end, various actors were brought together to identify new combinations, gaps and interfaces regarding this topic. Representatives of water and wastewater companies, technology companies, education providers, science and international and development cooperation have been involved in the past months. In workshops and interviews the topic was elaborated further and further. On 18 and 19 September 2019, around 50 participants met for a symposium at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) in Berlin. The overall result of this process can now be read in the roadmap.

With new products, services, educational formats and business models, the know-how of German operators is to be put to better international use and sustainable further training of international partners is to be made possible. In particular, the problem of storing and transferring know-how is to be addressed in this way. Even though the project refers to international partnerships, it is expected that the results will also be of interest for application within Germany.

The Innovation Forum was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "Innovation Forums for SMEs" initiative. inter 3 carried out the project in cooperation with German Water Partnership e.V. The roadmap (in German language) for download and all further information on the Innovation Forum can be found here and at